Move Over Diamonds – Girls Have a New Best Friend

Today, it is said that pearls are actually preferred over diamonds. We have a fascination with pearls, and we have been fascinated with pearls for centuries. Perhaps this fascination is due to the majestic quality of the pearl. In the gem world, there is no greater transformation than what the pearl goes through. In its beginning, a pearl is really just a piece of grit. The grit enters the shell of an oyster; the oyster then produces a layer of nacre around it to protect its soft tissue from harm. Over a few months, the nacre will form a firm crystalline substance containing calcium carbonate that becomes what we know as a pearl. The oyster has the magical ability to turn something valueless into a thing of beauty.

Our fascination with pearls has turned the pearl into a fashion staple for women everywhere. Pearls have had a long history with the fashion industry. Coco Chanel was rarely seen without a huge pile of pearls around her neck. Audrey Hepburn’s pearls in the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s stole the scene. Jackie Kennedy marked the pearl as timeless when she was quoted saying, “Pearls are always appropriate.”

And she was right. There are few types of jewelry that are always in style, regardless of the occasion. But pearls seem to fit the bill in every situation. Pearls evoke a sense of romanticism and classiness that can carry over from a formal occasion to a casual outfit.

But the remarkable and curious thing about the pearl is that in the ever-changing fashion world, it has remained a staple continuously. With trends changing faster than you can blink, it’s strange that the pearl has remained stylish for this long.

One of the beginning draws to pearls was their rarity. Natural pearls are extremely hard to come by. Natural pearls are those that are created by wild oysters in the ocean, without any human interaction. But few oysters produce a pearl. Most pearl-producing mollusks were hunted to almost extinction over the 18th and 19th centuries. Only around 1 in about 12,000 oysters will produce a pearl. On top of that, only a small percentage of those have the right size, shape, and color for the jewelry industry.

Due to their rarity, the wealthy flocked to the precious water gem, and pearls have come to be a symbol of wealth and status. And, even over the years, the reputation of the pearl is still that. Today most pearls are either cultured, meaning formed in a oyster, but with the intervention of humans, or faked. But regardless of this, pearls are still just as popular as ever.

Pearls are very different than their other popular gem counterparts. Unlike diamonds or rubies, pearls cannot be cut or shaped. Also different, while diamonds are mined from the land, pearls are grown inside a living creature, making them a living organism. One of the interesting facets of the pearl is that it improves with wear. The layers of nacre are absorbent, meaning external factors can influence their condition. They can pick up traces of oil from your skin, and they can slightly change color, depending on what they are near.

With pearls so exotic and majestic, it is no wonder that they became a staple in the fashion world. Today, it is just as popular to wear pearls as it was fifty years ago. But, while pearls are just as popular, the way in which we wear them has changed. No longer are pearls just meant for single strand necklaces or stud earrings. Pearls are now being worn as statement necklaces, as engagement rings, and even on clothing. In truth, there is no wrong way to wear pearls. They are versatile in every way, and it makes them a wonderful addition to any outfit. If you are interested in purchasing pearls, visit www.beadsofcambay.com for a wide variety of freshwater pearls.